About Your Teeth All I want for Christmas is a... toothbrush - About Your Teeth

Q & A's

All I want for Christmas is a new… toothbrush


Can you recall the last time you replaced your toothbrush?

Which signs do you look for to indicate the need to do away with your old brush? Bristles bent or spread out? Bristles too soft?

Does your dentist recommend how often to renew your toothbrush? Do you ever follow their advice?

Some of us at some point may have heard from either health conscious friends or relatives or our dentist that our toothbrushes need to be replaced every two-three months. If so, have you ever wondered why?

Well as it turns out, a study published in the Australian Dental Journal suggested that the recommendations about how often we should renew our toothbrush may be based on the personal habits of our dentist. So, if your dentist practices changing their own toothbrush every 10 weeks they will most likely suggest the same to their patients. Several others studies cited in this publication found that toothbrush wear varied among people and depended mainly on how the toothbrush was used – heavy or light force related to how quickly the brush was worn out. Makes sense really.

While it seems that there is no definitive evidence to show two-three months to be the ideal renewal period for a toothbrush, a more dependable indicator is the condition of the bristles. If they are no longer straight or firm or if there is build-up of scum at the base of the bristles, it is time to say goodbye. (Same goes if you have caught your cat or teething-toddler using it as a play thing!).

Bent, splayed, broken or distorted bristles means the toothbrush will not clean the teeth as well as required, which may lead to poor plaque control. Build-up of scum at the base of the bristles harbours germs and bacteria that can increase the chance of gum disease.

So, if the current state of your toothbrush falls into any of the above categories it may well be time to bid your toothbrush farewell. Talk to your dentist about which brush is best for you and have them look at your brushing technique to get the most effective outcome every time you brush.

And given Christmas is just around the corner, why not add a new toothbrush to your ‘practical’ Christmas gift wish list? Merry brushing!

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